Dance Beneath the Moon
Originally written as On A Moonswept Moor
Copyright 2001-2002 by Lady M. Harris

I'm already there
Don't make a sound
I'm the beat in your heart
I'm the moonlight shining down
I'm the whisper in the wind
And I'll be there until the end
Can you feel the love that we share
Oh I'm already there
We may be a thousand miles apart
But I'll be with you wherever you are
Part 13 That's What Home Is For…

        Serena shuddered as the rain slashed against her raincoat, even as she attempted to grip her umbrella in a desperate hold to keep the wind from blowing it away.  Any minute now, it would start to thunder.  She repressed another shudder, but couldn't refrain from the frown that appeared on her face.  She was only a block from her apartment when she decided to duck under the entry of a store.  The overhanging canvas afforded the much-needed protection from the rain that she needed.  The rain began pour heavily now, making it almost impossible to see the cars on the street.  A couple of pedestrians hurried past her, their faces towards the ground, gripping their flimsy umbrellas under the torrential rain.

        After waiting a few more minutes and not seeing any let up from the rains, she decided to make a break for her apartment.  She took a deep breath, gripping her bulging stomach and started a fast walk toward the entry of her apartment.  She was drenched within minutes, despite her raincoat.

        One of her neighbors leaving the place grinned at her as he opened the door for her.  She knew that she looked like a drowned rat as she called out her thanks over her shoulder.  He waved, already turning away and braving the rains.  She shook out her umbrella of excess water on the foyer and just made it in time to the elevator before the chrome doors closed.

        She was still muttering about the rain with her raincoat dripping water all over her hallway and leaving a wet trail from the elevator to her front door.  A rumbling roar over her head indicated that the thunder she had hoped would not come had arrived; the sound dimmed by the above apartments her head.  It stilled her wayward tongue.

        She opened the door to her apartment; it was not quite yet dark, but instead it was cool and dry.  She snapped on one of her table lamps from the foyer, and the dim light sent out a warm, inviting feel into the darkness of her small, living room.  She was just wondering at the same time what her husband was doing at the moment, when a towel appeared before her eyes.  She recognized the strong hand, instantly.

        "Darien!"  Her head whipped up, her starlight gaze growing wide at first with sudden surprise, then with stunned realization that the person she had been first thinking about stood in the very flesh before her.  All of his glorious, 6'2 solid, male form, her fantasy, and the stuff dreams are made of, and finally the love and heart and soul of her life.

        "I thought you would never---!" He didn't quite finish before he was enveloped in a pair of wet-drenched, raincoat arms.  Soft, fluttery kisses rained themselves all over his five-o'clock shadow of a beard, lips, face and Darien, despite his somber features laughed aloud, enjoying the tender attention from the woman--who seemed enthralled with his presence.  It was the first, genuine laugh since the death of his grandfather.

        "I've been waiting forever for you to return!  I've missed you so much!" Serena strained forward, trying to clasp him tight to her despite the growing bulge between them of the baby.

        Darien placed light kiss on Serena's forehead and then peered into her wide, powder blue eyes.  And instead of saying the next words that came into his mind, he stopped, the words suddenly gone, his throat dry, his lips slightly agape in awe of the beauty before him as he gazed into those fathomless depths of hers that showed no guile or slyness.

        "I missed you, darling," she repeated again, this time slowly, softly, for him.  A tumulus smile perched itself on her lips, appearing tenderly, and for once, in control of her emotions.

        "Serena," he nearly croaked, his voice gruff and heavy with emotion and then he closed his eyes and embraced her once again, his arms never wanting to let go of her again.  "God, you have no idea how much I wanted to get back here!"

        "I know, I know," she whispered, feeling the tears well up in her eyes.  It was like coming home in his arms, her mind whispered.

        "I miss him so much—God!" Came the strangled, harsh sound from Darien's throat, his arms tightening around Serena as if he were going to crush her.  His body trembled in an controlled effort to try and calm the emotional turmoil in his mind.

        Serena felt her tears spill at the sound of despair in his words and she wanted nothing more than to wipe away all the pain from his aching heart.  "Oh love, love!  I can only imagine what you must be feeling!" She could only coo, burying her face in his shoulders, the only way she knew how to comfort him. 

        After a moment of quiet silence, she heard a great sigh from Darien as if he were recuperating, reigning in control again of his emotional outburst and finally, after a long moment, he released her, a lopsided smile tenderly touching his lips.

        "I need you, Serena.  The house—it's too silent and I've been away too long.  Are you ready to come home with me?" He asked quietly, his hands reaching forward to unbutton her raincoat.

        She nodded her head, silently, not trusting her voice.  Home.  She liked the sound of it.  "Yes," she finally said.  "I think I'm ready."

        After the tragic, phone call in the states telling them of the dreadful news of Wesley's death, they had both hopped on the next plane back to Tokyo.  Her and Darien had then attended the funeral, three days later, accompanied by nearly three hundred mourners.  Shortly thereafter, Darien had deposited her at her parent's place with strict instructions to stay at their home until he could get all the financials straightened out overseas.  That had nearly been over a month ago with periodic calls to her parent's house where she was not in attendance.  Of course, Serena had only stayed a couple of days, basking in the warmth of her parents' and her brother's love before returning back to her own apartment, where she now more comfortable. 

A couple of days later, found her at the recreation site, where the plans for her dreams for the children of Juuban Elementary School were beginning to take shape with the beginnings of construction on the site.  After introducing herself to the construction manager and the type of her role she intended to take with the site; it was there that she spent her afternoons, helping the manager with the plans and his workers as they came in and out the modular office with complaints, changes and modifications to the new site.  She fast became friends and a favorite among the workers.  It was especially true on rainy days like today, when the workers had to quit early, but not before grabbing a warm bagel and latte from the manager's office, and paying their respects to the lovely "secretary" who had treated them with the continental breakfast and then heading home with their bellies pleasantly full.

Working in the construction office kept her mind off the grief of Darien losing Wesley and her mind off of her loneliness and what Darien was doing while he was away taking care of business.  She only hoped that he hadn't forgotten about their silent truce and agreement to start over together.  Somehow, she didn't think he had, but when two weeks turned into four weeks, she had begun to doubt herself.  She should've known however, that he wasn't the type to renege on his promise.  But now he was here standing within her arms once again, bigger than life itself and he was all hers.

        "How soon can we get you packed?" Darien asked quietly, taking the towel from her hand that she had completely forgotten about and wrapped the towel over her head where golden-white tendrils of her hair was beginning to dry around her uplifted, lovely face.

        "As soon as I'm dry?" She laughed, impulsively hugging him again, this time without the wet raincoat on.

        Darien chuckled, holding her tight against him, enjoying the feel of her slight form pushing up against him.  He dipped suddenly, capturing her surprised lips in a tilting kiss of promise and wondrous surrender.  "Hurry."

        That was all the prompting she needed.

        When the night grew long and the bedcovers were turned, there was a sighing of relief and longing echoing throughout the master chambers of the large and impressive Shields Estate.

        Light feathery kisses and soft exclamations of delight were exchanged for heady, hot pulses and raging, passion as bodies moved with synchronized grace and form.  Fevered cries and arduous moans erupted from the entwined shapes on the immense master bed.  Finally when rapture had been reached and attained, the sounds of lovemaking calmed to that of a southern sea in a peaceful wake.

        "Have I mentioned that I loved you?" Darien inquired softly, tenderly, as he gently kissed the damp, rounded shoulder of the woman he held in his embrace.  His large, bronze hand wandered over her large stomach, caressing, where their child lay, growing with each passing day.  The other hand held her supple body carefully clasped to the wild beating of his heart.

        "No!  As a matter of fact you have not!" Serena admonished, exclaiming, her heart pitter-pattering wildly, like birds caught in startled fright.  At the magical words, she stiffened in surprised astonishment; sleep evaporating immediately from her slumberous ponderings.

        "Serena," Darien simply stated, pulling her forward so that they were facing each other, heart to heart, hand to hand clenched together.  "Apparently, I have lost my touch," he started and leaned forward to kiss her along her lower lip.  The sensation was heaven, and when his lips skimmed along the fullness she thought she would sprout wings.  "I love you," he replied quietly, their breaths mingling as one, as his lids lowered over his gleaming gaze, the overwhelming satisfaction of claiming this woman, Serena, his wife, as the love of his life.

        For a moment, no words could come to mind.  Overwhelmed and trembling, Serena reached forward with one hand, her fingers delicately tracing the strong jaw line of the face that she held so dear to her heart.  She was in awe of this man.  She was lost for a moment, when his mouth tilted and covered hers in a stirring, searching yet acquiesce kiss that deepened with each breath she took.

        When he reluctantly pulled back from her, his lips lingering close to her own, he saw the returning answer to his words shinning brightly like glittering gems in her lovely gaze.

        "I love you, Darien," she stated, simply, eagerly and only for him.


        "Serena, what the hell is this?" Darien roared into the cell phone.  He was looking at the results of a paternity test.  A paternity test that he did not recall participating in.  He was sitting on his bed, in Hong Kong, miles away from her and had been going through his briefcase when he came across a two-week-old letter from an unfamiliar testing lab.

        "Are you through, yet?"  Serena pulled the phone away from her ear as her husband blasted, raged and swore like a deranged sailor.

        "No, and Jesus fu---" he went on and on for another minute or so before he finally calmed down, sitting back against the hotel supplied, plush chair.  The steam was already deflating out of him. He could never stay angry with Serena for very long.

"If you're through howling like a wolf, I'll explain," Serena began, before she was interpreted again.

        "This was for me, wasn't it?" He stated, sighing over the phone.

        "I got it in the beginning, remember when you had to have that physical in order to play Polo for this year?" She began, hesitantly.  Rini came into her office, her pretty eyes centered on the candy jar on her desk.  She looked inquiringly at her mom for permission.  Serena nodded, smiling, as her daughter came forward and withdrew a handful of chocolate, malt balls.

        "You know, I don't have any doubts anymore?" Darien rehashed again.

        "Hmm…I know that now, sweetheart, that's why I love you so much," she chuckled, sudden tears filling her eyes.  She must of made some sort of sound because he heard it, like a soft gasp.

He somehow understood the change in her even over the phone.  "Jesus, Serena, I love you and God knows how I would be now if I hadn't fallen head over heels in love you," he growled lowly in his throat.

        "I know, God, how I know!  You never let me forget how much!" She laughed and purred all at once, remembering how feverishly she had responded to his touch the night before.  He had left early that morning for a seminar in Hong Kong.  Then she remembered that their daughter sat across from her trying to nonchalantly not listen into their conversation.

        "I try my best, sweetheart," he chuckled, sounding suspiciously like a satisfied, dominant male dragging his woman by the hair into a cave.

        Serena cleared her throat, and whispered in a low voice, "Rini's here."

        "Put her on the phone," Darien laughed outright.

        "Hi daddy," Rini said into the phone, smiling into the receiver.

        "How's my baby-doll doing?" Darien asked, smiling back.

        "Okay, when you coming home?" She answered, looking back at her mom with huge, four year old eyes.

        "Just as soon as I wrap up here, darling.  I'll see you tomorrow, okay?" Darien replied.

        Rini nodded into the phone and Serena grinned knowing that Darien couldn't see Rini's small nod of agreement.

        "Daddy said to give this back to you," Rini handed the receiver to Serena.

        "Why don't do you go along and find Kara?" Serena prodded her daughter.  They were at the recreation center and Kara, their wonderful, live-in nanny usually brought treats with her when they accompanied Serena to the center.

        "I miss you, Darien," Serena stated quietly once she had gotten back on the phone.  "Hurry back, okay?"

        "I will.  I promise.  I love you, Serena," he murmured softly, gently, into the phone.  And across the distance of the ocean, he heard her smile.

Author's Notes: So here it is the conclusion.  Not quite dramatic as the first ending, eh?  I wanted it to end naturally, the way it would in real life.  You know, how some things like love can just run their natural course.  Which it does in this fic.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Drop me a review and let me know.  No flames please. 

Lady M. Harris